Reclaiming Common Sense

. If the title of this column sounds vaguely familiar to the readers of this column, it should sound familiar. This column has written ___ articles on the topic:

  • (July)  "An Incomplete Recovery" detailed how six sectors were below pre-recession job levels, including Mining and Logging, Construction, Manufacturing, IT, Financial Services, and Government
  • (Aug) "Jobs in Recession and Expansion" discussed how the Mining and Logging, Construction, Manufacturing, IT and Financial Service Sectors were not  back to pre-recession Job Levels.
  • (Sep) We saw eight sectors lose jobs during August, and Six Sectors, again. below pre-recession levels with the combination of Mining and Logging, Construction, Manufacturing, IT, Financial Services, and Government being below pre-recession job levels.
  • (Oct) We saw the same five sectors lagging during October that were lagging during September, as was detailed in "Five Sectors with Fewer Jobs than October ."
  • (Nov)  Mining and Logging, Construction, Manufacturing, IT and Government lagged behind November 2008 levels,

What Happened this month? Any guesses where we stand on jobs in Mining and Logging. Construction, Manufacturing and Information Technology compared to where we were during December of 2008?

We are in a Mining and Logging Recession, Again.  We saw a slow down in the mining and Logging Sector  during 2009.  We had seen a recovery by 2012 and an expansion through 2014. We have seen two years of decline, timed with the period where we have seen "gasoline savings" at the pump.

We have Fewer December Manufacturing jobs than December 2015 or December 2014. There had been some improvement since  2009. The problem is that we have almost 2 million fewer workers in manufacturing than December 2006. We have 3.5 million fewer manufacturing jobs than December 2001. We have over 5.5 million fewer manufacturing jobs than December 1989. in manufacturing jobs.This is important to note because the President has been touting manufacturing job creation during recent months even as we are seeing declines.

Construction jobs have almost returned to 2008 Levels - Still well below 2000-2007 levels. We have seen a recovery in the new construction market. It has been n incomplete recovery. We have seen annual starts at completions, through November of 2016 at a rate slower than we saw during 1983 and 1992. We have seen the number of units under construction surge. There has been strength  in the new construction Job market. The thing to remember here is that the Housing Recession began during December of 2006 when units peaked, continued through December of 2006 when sales prices peaked, and have been suffering ever since.

Information Technology Jobs Peaked during 2006. We have fewer IT jobs now than we had during the period of time from December 2000 through December 2008. We are down nearly one million jobs from the pre-recession peak. We are down a mere 8,000 from December of 2008. The good news here is that we have seen steady improvement from 2010 through today.

The Government Has fewer Workers than December 2008. It is ironic that in the era of "Big Government" and record revenue and spending that we have fewer Government workers. We have seen surges in the Hospitality Sector, Health and Education Sector, and the Profession Services Sector.

We saw employment Drop in Eight Sectors Last Month - Not including Manufacturing. The usual suspects of Mining and Logging, Construction, IT and Financial services and Government  saw monthly declines in jobs, in addition to annual declines in jobs.We saw monthly declines in the Professional and Business Sectors, Education and Health Services, Leisure and Hospitality, and the Other Services sectors with monthly declines. How is this possible? The "official version" of the jobs report indicated that we gained jobs. That is how contorted and distorted the seasonally adjusted data can become through seasonally adjusted data. The December Jobs Report was Deceptive. We saw a drop in Full-time Jobs, and increase in unemployment, and a drop in multiple job holders.

We have one more jobs report for President Obama. The January Jobs report will be released next month and cover the data collection period up to January 12th.  We have a regular "end of year" purge in jobs and workers. Where will the purges occur? We saw month to month declines in eight sectors this past month: Any bets on the number of sectors with fewer jobs during the month of January compared to this month? Could all sectors see declines?

We live in a non-seasonally adjusted world. The government lives in a seasonally adjusted world. The rest of the media reports on what the government writes. It appears that we are in the early stages of a jobs recession. The CES worker growth rate is roughly what it was during December of 2000 and December of 2006. The data for the past few months of Jobs reports has been twisted, contorted, and distorted. If these jobs reports are supposed to be road maps for where we are and where we are heading, are we on the right road? Are we in the right state? Are we in the State of Denial?

It's the economy.